The second type of soil representing the condition of the heart that Jesus spoke about is stony ground, referring to a shallow heart. This is someone who has not allowed the Word of God into his life with any depth. They joyfully receive the promises of God but they have no root. They have never obtained personal confidence in their relationship with the Lord. There is a surface layer of mental assent but no real depth because beneath the façade of spirituality they remain self-centered, untrusting, and unchanged.
These Christians want the results of a life yielded to God, yet refuse to let go of their carnal state of mind. Consequently, they exercise little spiritual power and can do nothing to help their fellowman. Their shallowness prevents the Word from ever truly taking root. When Satan brings trouble into their lives they begin to distrust and abandon the promises of God.
The third kind of soil representing the condition of the heart Jesus called thorny soil. This is an overcrowded heart. The seed of God’s Word planted in ground cluttered with cares and anxieties will yield no fruit. Within the soil of the overcrowded heart are the weeds of doing-too-much and misplaced priorities. As a result, there remains little room for the newly planted seed of God’s Word to grow.
It is so easy to innocently become over-involved with harmless activities. The danger is that we can become so distracted that God’s Word has very little priority, thus it has no real effect in our lives. They rob us of our time of fellowship and closeness with God. When we are too distracted by projects and duties to spend time alone in fellowship with God, we are too busy!
First Peter 5:7 says, “…casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.” Cares, anxieties, worries, and concerns fill our minds, distracting us from intimacy with God. They become seed thoughts that will begin to suffocate the Word.
Our inner man will receive whatever seed we plant. The seed we continually sow into our life will produce a harvest. Galatians 6:7 from the Phillips translation reads: “A man’s harvest in life will depend entirely on what he sows.”
The seed of the Kingdom of God requires total loyalty. We can’t allow the pursuits of life to steal our loyalty to God’s plan. When the riches or the pleasures of life become overemphasized, we will compromise real progress and fulfillment. Our interests, the things we obtain, and the pleasure of living must be an expression of our faith in God, not a substitute.
Proverbs 4:23 warns about the importance of guarding our hearts. It says, “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it spring the issues of life.” We are responsible for diligently guarding our hearts against becoming shallow or overcrowded. Then the life of God will flow freely from our inner man and our outward lives will begin to reflect the blessing of God.